Setting up Cybersecurity Compliance can feel like an enormous task with no clear starting point. It might also be intimidating to know that your goal is nothing short of securing your company’s most valuable asset, namely data.
In this blog posts series about corporate policy compliance, we put together all the information you need to establish your next steps towards cyber compliance.
Let’s start with the basics!
How Important is Cybersecurity Compliance?
Picture the worst-case scenario: one of your employees clicked on a phishing link a few weeks ago, and that snowballed into a full-on data breach of all your customers’ sensitive data. The regulatory agencies that monitor your industry come knocking on your door, and upon inspection, they conclude that your compliance policies did not include procedures meant to enforce cyber-awareness of phishing links.
You now have to bear the cost of lost reputation, damages to your customers for a breach of their confidentiality, and a fine from the authorities. Concise compliance policies should be the first brick you lay in your cybersecurity foundation. A full set of compliance policies also enables you to gain the trust of big-name clients and government agencies who usually engage vendors that abide by strict compliance regulations.
Also, consider the price of non-compliance in terms of lost revenue and additional expenses from successful cyber attacks.
Think of cybersecurity compliance as an on-going organizational process that should act like a reactive response to cyber threats and that protects employees, brand integrity and reputation.
Compliance Beyond Audits
People make up the core of all compliance practices, not checklists or lengthy paperwork. Train your teams well to avoid non-compliance and they’ll be your best defense against the attacks you plan to prevent with your compliance policies. It may sound obvious now, but most companies don’t factor in the human element when they build their compliance policies.
It can be tempting to treat compliance policies like a checklist, but the reality is that compliance policies are like high-performance sports cars. They constantly need to be fine-tuned, maintained, and monitored for performance and precision. A compliance policy that manages to pass an internal audit but fails to prevent an actual data breach is not much of a defensive measure, and this is where risk assessments come in.
A report from CSHub.com points out:
A famous approach used in product development is that launch is a process, not an event. The spirit of that message is important for security leaders to consider in building a sustainable business case for compliance. Compliance should be viewed as a continuous, organizational process.
How does Cybersecurity Compliance Work?
Cybersecurity Compliance is a thorough adherence to certain rules, as well as meeting strict legal requirements that differ for various industries. The end-goal of compliance is to direct your company’s policies towards mitigating existing cyber threats, as well as monitoring potential threats that might crop up in the future.
That said, there is no cookie-cutter way of running solid Cybersecurity Compliance. A single industry can have dozens of regulations, so approaching compliance with a predetermined checklist will not be enough. Businesses should think of compliance as an essential part of educating employees to navigate through possible risks, and therefore having their workforce as an important line of defense against cybercrimes.
The Healthcare industry provides a good example to illustrate this point. Because of the sensitive nature of patients’ medical information, healthcare providers need to adhere to strict legal requirements that enforce high standards of cybersecurity. Just imagine the chaos that would ensue if a hospital’s lackluster compliance policies enabled cybercriminals to steal hundreds, if not thousands, of sensitive medical records!
Click here to access the second post of our series “Everything You Need to Know About Policy Compliance”.
Interested in learning how to develop, store, disseminate, increase awareness and drive behaviour change for corporate policies? Schedule a demo of Compliance Readiness and see how Right-Hand can make your compliance journey easier!